Even at this point, it’s been years since obesity officially has became a hot topic and prevention become a watchword, rates of incidence continue to rise. NPR put together a terrific broadcast on this in late August and we are sad to say that we just got around to listening to it – had we listened earlier, we would have been raving earlier. The sad truth on the obesity front is that things just keep getting worse - since 2003 not one state has shown a decline in obesity rates. Colorado comes out as the leanest state (which it has for many years!) while nearly one-third of all adults in Mississippi are obese, making it the heaviest state in the nation.
At the time of the original broadcast, southern states were meeting in the Obesity Summit at Little Rock Arkansas and discussing plans to build parks, restrict junk food in schools and requiring physical education. Some, like Joshua Norman, a reporter for the Mississippi Sun Herald are doubtful that these measures will work. Combating obesity means a massive culture change for a region where people are used to eating fried catfish five times a week, where health officials weigh 300 pounds and where a culture of bad food is a “part of the state’s fabric.”
It is uplifiting to see that Mississippi is taking action to beat it by requiring 30 minutes of physical activity three times a week in schools (it’s a start!) and providing vouchers for buying fruits and vegetables. Anybody working toward tight blood glucose control will tell you that obtaining blood glucose level results without taking action on it is pointless. We’re thrilled to see movement, even tiny glimpses, of life moving forward in the healthier lane…
This map of obesity trends in the U.S. will astound you. Click on the play button.
Listen to the original NPR story here.
Learn more about U.S. obesity rates in this Dr. Jim Hill's Revolution Health blog post here.